Look, I'm going to let you in on a secret but please don't tell anyone because the very notion is so ridiculous that people who know me may do themselves an injury guffawing at the very idea, but the fact is that 'once upon a time' I studied architecture! Remember, I am a man who, if asked to join two pieces of wood together with a screw, would use a hammer - yeeeeeeeees, quite! Anyway, back in the late '50s I began to study architecture and one name recurred over and over again from the lecturers, from other architects, from the students and from architectural magazines - 'le Corbusier', aka, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret. And the tone adopted at mention of his name was one of total and absolute worship.
This, perhaps, is his most famous creation, the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut.
I must confess that when I first saw photographs of it I was entranced. Of course, I didn't actually study it in detail, after all, I was, er, well, a student and, 'as any fule do no', students rarely study anything which is why most of them are so thick! Anyway, shortly there-after, I came across another of his, er, 'creations' which he called his 'unité d'habitation' which arose from his famous saying that "a house is a machine for living in". It was when I came across that expression of ripe 'crapulata' that I first began to doubt the 'genius' of the man - and his numerous acolytes who have since done their best to ruin most major cities throughout the world with their slabs of inhuman ugliness.
At this point, enter the redoubtable Dr. 'Dalrymple' over at Taki Mag. He has discovered a recently published book on 'le Corbusier' and this paragraph gives you the flavour:
A book has just been published—Le Corbusier: The Dishonest Architect, by Malcolm Millais—that reads like the indictment of a serial killer who can offer no defense (except, possibly, a psychiatric one). The author shares with me an aesthetic detestation of Jeanneret, and also of his casual but deeply vicious totalitarianism; but, unlike me, the author both has a scholarly knowledge of his subject’s life and writings, of which the perusal of only a few has more than sufficed for me, and is a highly qualified structural engineer. Mr. Millais is able to prove not only that Jeanneret was a liar, cheat, thief, and plagiarist in the most literal sense of the words, a criminal as well as being personally unpleasant on many occasions, but that he was technically grossly ignorant and incompetent, indeed laughably so. His roofs leaked, his materials deteriorated. He never grasped the elementary principles of engineering. All his ideas were gimcrack at best, and often far worse than merely bad. To commission a building from Jeanneret was to tie a ball and chain around one’s own ankle, committing oneself to endless, Sisyphean bills for alteration and maintenance, as well as to a dishonest estimate of what the building would cost to build in the first place. A house by Jeanneret was not so much a machine for living in (to quote the most famous of his many fatuous dicta) as a machine for generating costs and for moving out of. In the name of functionality, Jeanneret built what did not work; in the name of mass production, everything he used had to be individually fashioned. Having no human qualities himself, and lacking all imagination, he did not even understand that shade in a hot climate was desirable, indeed essential.
Yes, I'd say that was a fair summary!